145 – A DEAF GOD
It is written that Jehovah hears prayers (Ps.65:2; Ps.94:9). Jehovah loved David, and this is what his name means. David was righteous and faithful, according to the very words of Jehovah (1 Kings 11:38; 15:5). David, though, committed his first sin, his adultery with Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah, the Hitite (1 Sam.11:1-4). In order to avoid the exposure, since the woman was pregnant, he ordered the death of the husband (2 Sam.11:14-17). Jehovah hates sinners (Ps.11:5; 5:5; Amos 9:10), and for this reason, he traced a plan against David, his beloved. He initiated it by killing the child born of the adultery with Bathsheba. “However, because by this deed you have given occasion to the enemies of Jehovah to blaspheme, the child also that is born to you shall surely die. […] Then Jehovah struck the child that Uriah’s widow bore to David, so that he was very sick” (2 Sam.12:14.15). David, distraught, fasted and lay on the ground, praying, for seven days, but Jehovah did not listen to his prayers, and the boy died (2 Sam.12:19-20). We cannot understand how Jehovah can be a just judge(Ps.119:137; 145:17). Also, Jehovah wrote in his law that a son will nor die for his father’s sins(Deut.24:16). As we said, we cannot understand how David, who was the guilty father, was forgiven, and the innocent child died, as punishment, instead of David. We should remember that the exaction of Jehovah was vengeful and wicked, and that it incited Amnon, David’s first-born, who was moved by an abnormal passion and forced his sister to lay with him, and dishonored her publicly. Absalom, also David’s son, to avenge her, killed his brother. Joab, captain of David’s armies, killed Absalom against David’s orders. Lastly, Jehovah handed ten of David’s wives to Absalom, who had intercourse with them in public to dishonor his father. Jehovah was responsible for all this, and declared: “‘Now, therefore, the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised Me and had taken the wife of Uriah the Hitite to be your wife.’ Thus says Jehovah, ‘Behold, I will raise evil against you from your own household; I will even take your wives before your eyes, and give them to your companion, and he shall lie with your wives in broad daylight. Indeed you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel, and under the sun.’” (2 Sam.12:10-12; 13:1-19; 13:23-29;16:21-23). It is obvious that the poor David prayed all the time, while Jehovah, deaf to the pleas of his beloved went on destroying the innocent and the house of David (Ps.6:6; 38:1-2). And we read in the Old Testament that Jehovah is righteous (Ps.119:137; 145:17). The wrath, the hatred, and the vengeance deafened the ears of the god Jehovah, the killer. Considering that David was a confessed sinner, we have to accept his disgraces, for Jehovah does not hear sinners (John 9:31; Ps.66:18; Is.1:15; 59:1-2; Ps.32:5; 51:3-4).
We will talk about another man who never practiced evil. This was Samuel. “Now the boy Samuel was growing in stature and in favor both with Jehovah and with men” (1 Sam.2:26). The name of Samuel means HEAR FROM GOD. And Samuel served Jehovah in the temple with a clean heart. While he was still a boy Jehovah called him by his name and revealed him terrible things (1 Sam.3:1-14). At the end of his ministry, Samuel, an old man, gathered his people and said: “‘Here I am; bear witness against me before Jehovah and His anointed. Whose ox have I taken, or whose donkey have I taken, or whom have I defrauded? Whom have I oppressed, or from whose hand have I taken a bribe to blind my eyes with it? I will restore it to you.’ And they said: ‘You have not defrauded us, or oppressed us, or taken anything from any man’s hand.’” (1 Sam.12:3-4). Samuel was also a man of prayer (1 Sam.12:23).
The people of Israel asked Samuel for a king, and Jehovah said to him: “Listen to the voice of the people in regard to all that they say to you, for they have not rejected Me from being king over them (1 Sam.8:5-7). Jehovah himself chose the man Saul to rule over Israel. And he said to Samuel:“About this time tomorrow I will send you a man from the land of Benjamin, and you shall anoint him to be prince over My people Israel; and he shall deliver My people from the hand of the Philistines. […] When Samuel saw Saul, Jehovah said to him, ‘Behold, the man of whom I spoke to you!” (1 Sam.9:16-17).
Saul had good qualities. Saul was a good man, more than all the others (1 Sam.9:2) (Some Bibles say that he was handsome, but the Hebrew original says that he was GOOD). Saul took care of his father, and did not wish to see him worried (1 Sam.9:5). Saul on his way to meeting Samuel thought of taking him a gift to show him respect (1 Sam.9:7). Saul was humble: when Jehovah took lots and chose the tribe of Benjamin, and the Matrite family, and from it, Saul, son of Kish, no one could find him, for he was hiding (1 Sam.10:20-22). Saul was not a warrior in heart, for he was gentle and cared for oxen. Nahash, the Ammonite king, faced Israel and threatened to pluck out the right eye of all the men of Jabesh-gilead. The elders began to cry for despair. Saul was coming from the field behind the oxen when they told him about the offense of Nahash. The spirit of Jehovah took Saul and filled him with great rage, for he was gentle, but the spirit of Jehovah is the spirit of anger (1 Sam.11:1-6).
It was the very Jehovah who changed the heart of Saul (1 Sam.10:6). Saul ceased from being gentle, meek and submissive to his father, good, obedient to Jehovah, and honoring to his prophet. Saul began to rebel, exceeding his responsibilities. He offered sacrifices to Jehovah, a thing that only Samuel could do (1 Sam.13). He disobeyed the order of Jehovah (1 Sam.15). He worked up bad feelings against David (1 Sam.18:7-11). When the Philistines surrounded Saul, he prayed to Jehovah, but Jehovah did not answer him (1 Sam.28:1-6). If Saul did what was wrong because Jehovah changed his heart, can Jehovah turn his face on him? Jehovah foresaw the wicked acts that Saul was going to do (1 Sam.8:9-18). Jehovah revealed the plans of vengeance he had against Israel because they had asked for a king: When the king that I will set over you will oppress you, then you will cry out to me, but I will not listen to your prayer (1 Sam.8:18). Samuel began to pray for Saul, for he knew that Jehovah could revert the state of his heart to be like it was before, but Jehovah said: “How long will you grieve over Saul, since I have rejected him…?” (1 Sam.16:1).
The third man is Jeremiah, a prophet chosen by Jehovah from the womb (Jer.1:4-10). “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations” (v.5). The prophet Jeremiah had an intimate relation with Jehovah, who said to him: “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know” (Jer.33:3). Jeremiah prophesied during the captivity to Babylon that had taken place because of Judah’s apostasy. Even the prophets and priests were corrupted, then. Jeremiah set himself to pray for his people, but Jehovah told him: “As for you, do not pray for this people, and do not lift up cry or prayer for them, and do not intercede with Me; for I do not hear you” (Jer.7:16; 11:14). And he said more: “Do not pray for the welfare of this people […] I am going to make an end of them by the sword, famine or pestilence” (Jer.14:11-12). Jehovah accepted prayers only for evil. But he had told Jeremiah that he would hear his prayer (Jer.33:3)! The prayer of the saint Jeremiah was useless. Jehovah said: “‘I will dash them against each other, both the fathers and the sons together,’ declares Jehovah. ‘I will not show pity nor be sorry nor have compassion that I should not destroy them’” (Jer.13:14).
There is one sure thing. Ps.65:2 is not telling the truth: “O Thou who dost hear prayer”. He did not hear Jeremiah, or Samuel, or Moses (Jer.15:1-2).
Jews stand by the Wall of Lamentations praying to a deaf god. Jesus, on the other hand, said: “And whatsoever you ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it” (John 14:13-14). “Ask, and it shall be given to you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it shall be opened” (Matt.7:7-8). Who asks? Sinners do.
By Pastor Olavo Silveira Pereira